Good Vibrations (2013) Review.

Directed by Lisa Barros D’Sa and Glenn Leyburn. “Good Vibrations”  is set in the 1970s at the height of the conflict in Northern Ireland known as the Troubles. Over 3,600 people were killed and thousands more injured from 1968-1998.

The film is based on the life of Terri Hooley, owner of the cult record shop “Good Vibrations” which sells rock, folk and country music to express his belief in the power of music.557589_10151295517547308_1310266587_n

This was pivitol in developing Belfast’s punk-rock scene during one of its darkest times. Hooley signed iconic bands onto his indie record label such as The Undertones, The Outcasts and Rudi. The film was the winner of the Best Irish Feature Film at the Galway Film Fleadh and was nominated for a BAFTA award in 2014.

After watching this film I filed it in my head theme-wise among 2009’s “The Boat That Rocked” (inspired by the pirate radio stations of the 1960s) and 2012’s “Vinyl”. (Based off the rock and roll hoax of 2004)  Themes of music, defiance against the odds, uniting people and comedy are prevalent in all these films that surround a deep love of music.

The film was structured in an interesting way mixing real footage of the Northern Ireland conflict in with the story seamlessly. The film was also successful in having a dark undertone to an otherwise positive story about the punk scene in Belfast. It acknowledged the terrors of the time and how music was necessary for young people to thrive a midst the political and religious turmoil that was tearing their country apart. Richard Dormer who plays Terri Hooley, gives a brilliant performance portraying him as incredibly passionate and like-able.

This is definitely a film with a lot of intense feeling, I loved it and highly recommend!

Author: emilysteelefilm

Filmmaker, Writer, Feminist.

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